DOC-team

Selection


The selection procedure for a DOC-team Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences takes approx. five to six months.

The applications of the groups shortlisted in the preliminary selection procedure are reviewed by international experts. At least three reviews are sought for each application. The teams that receive largely positive reviews will be invited with their doctoral supervisors to a hearing within the framework of the awards meeting.

After the evaluation procedure has ended, the reviews are anonymised before being forwarded to each applicant.

Applicants do not have recourse to legal action.


Selection process

The applications are assigned to at least two the members of the awards committee according to their fields.  Great attention is paid to avoiding potential conflicts of interest.


Preliminary selection

The first stage of selection decides which applications will be sent for external review. If the panel is of the view that an application does not fulfil the criteria of the funding programme, it is rejected.

After preliminary selection, the applicants receive a written explanation for their rejection or are informed that their application will be internationally reviewed.

For the applications that are to be externally assessed, the members of the committee suggest reviewers abroad who seem suitable in the relevant fields. Care is taken to select reviewers without bias and potential conflicts of interest.

There is no set pool of reviewers; for each application experts are sought who are in a position to judge the application on the basis of their own academic experience or research activities in accordance with the international standards in the field in question. These reviewers provide their services on a voluntary basis, i.e. they do not receive financial compensation for this activity.

Applicants have the right to exclude up to three scholars from the review process (e.g. due to rivalry or dispute between schools) without giving a reason.


The review process

At least three reviewers are enlisted for each application in the framework of the DOC-team programme.

A review consists of a written assessment and a formal evaluation of the academic qualification of the applicant and parts of the research project on a scale from 1–10 (1–2 = inadequate, 9–10 = outstanding):

  1. Originality of the research project
  2. Relevance of the project to the specialist field
  3. Clarity of the research questions (hypotheses)
  4. Appropriateness of the methodology (including work plan and timetable)
  5. Feasibility of the project (institute’s facilities, academic environment)

Finally, the reviewers are requested to provide a summary stating whether they recommend that the application be funded without reservation, should be resubmitted after revision or should be rejected.

If the written statement does not seem particularly meaningful, another review is sought. The reviewers are requested to state potential conflicts of interest. If conflict of interest is established retrospectively, the review is not taken into consideration.

1. Assessment of applicants

Applicant’s academic qualification and ability to undertake the project

2. Assessment of project as a whole

  • Originality of the question, with special consideration of the international research context,
  • originality,
  • methodology,
  • degree of integration of various disciplines into the overarching project
  • degree to which the problem can only be solved via an interdisciplinary approach

3. Aspects of project realisation and organisation

  • Project cooperation sufficiently specified,
  • Assessment of consistency of supervision concept,
  • Suitability of the participating research institutions for the project,
  • Work plan and timetable, including content, methodological and organisational coordination of the individual team members

Finally, the reviewers are requested to provide a summary stating whether they recommend that the application be funded without reservation, should be resubmitted after revision or should be rejected.

If the written statement does not seem particularly meaningful, another review is sought. The reviewers are requested to state potential conflicts of interest. If conflict of interest is established retrospectively, the review is not taken into consideration.

In the event of resubmission, at least one of the previous reviewers will be requested to provide an assessment, but at least one new review will also be sought. Resubmitted applications must be labelled as such and must be accompanied by a letter outlining the project’s progress since initial submission and the changes made on the basis of the reviewers’ criticism or suggestions.


Awards meeting

Fellows will be selected at the awards meeting in March/April.

The committee members will decide which groups (together with their doctoral supervisors) will be invited to the hearing on the basis of the reviews. They will be judged on scholarly quality and the suitability of the individual team members to the project as a whole. The fellowships will be awarded after comparative discussion on the basis of the reviews and the presentations at the hearing.

The decision to award fellowships is made by the entire committee. If a member of the committee has a close professional or personal relationship with an applicant, this committee member will not take part in the decision-making process.


Information for applicants

Following the awards meeting procedure, the reviews are anonymised before being forwarded to each applicant.

Applicants will be informed by the committee of grounds for rejection, especially if due to the budgetary situation despite positive assessment